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Save A Conch (Nassau Guardian)
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Page 1 of 1Total of 5 messages
Posted by:Jun 15th 2006, 03:14:07 pm
JazzysmithPlease send an email to :dstrachan@thecounsellorsltd.com
Bahamas@sunrise to let him know of our concerns and give suggestions as to how we can save the conch.

Posted by:Jun 1st 2006, 11:37:29 am
smittyI heard the same lament at least 15 years ago.You mean nothing has been done in all that time?
Posted by:Jun 1st 2006, 08:24:45 am
JohnI still believe we should have areas protected from fishing and harvesting of conch. I have witnessed baby conch taken out off the shallow water and grass area and used for bait for fishing. I believe if there were areas preserved for fish and release, the areas would populate, and the the fish and conch would then migrate to other areas and increase the over all population.
Posted by:May 30th 2006, 06:51:05 pm
Ocean FoxThe depletion of the conch population is of serious concern to Bahamians. Surprising to me is that a 'cleaned' conch (i.e. on that has been broken out of its shell and skinned) sells for between $1.50 and $2 despite the fact that conch fishermen are having to travel further afield to find enough conch to meet the demand. Whilst I am against price-fixing, it seems that the government may need to step in and impose a minimum price for conch to both stem the demand and force restaurants to start paying a more realistic price for the animal.
It may also help relieve pressure on conch stocks if the Bahamas imposed a moratorium on the export of conch and conch products to the USA. There is a serious lesson to be learned from Key West, hailed as "The Conch Republic", where conch can no longer be harvested, their stocks having been reduced to unsustainable levels by over-fishing. So where do Key West restaurants source their conch now? From the Bahamas of course! Thus, the Bahamas conch population is supporting Bahamian AND Floridian restaurants - which, unsurprisingly, is proving to be unsustainable.
If the Bahamas is to retain conch as a viable food resourse, tough measures are needed now.
Support your Local Conch!
Posted by:May 30th 2006, 11:04:05 am
Fig Tree News TeamMay 27, 2006 10:14
Conch Harvest Said To Be Taking A Dive

Years of snagging conchs from heavily populated areas is now having a serious effect on the supply.

Government officials have admitted that conch harvesting in the country is taking a dive as years of fishing out the giant snails is taking its toll.

Deputy Director at the Department of Fisheries Edison Deleveaux said years of snagging conchs from heavily populated areas is now having a serious effect on the supply. Mr Deleveaux added that since the species normally grows plentifully in certain areas only, fishers have used this to their advantage.

"For years conchs are continuously being harvested from the same areas," he said. "These areas have been worked for generations and if we keep on taking the adults out especially near the heavily populated areas, then eventually you're going to have localised thinning or depletion. Everybody is targeting the same resources. This is what people are complaining about."

The fisheries official explained that areas in New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco and Eleuthera are best known for breeding the giant snails in large numbers. He added that while conchs are essential to the commercial and recreational sectors, this localised thinning is causing a great concern for government officials. Mr Deleveaux said while local fishermen, conch stand owners and even tourists who come to The Bahamas on sports fishing permits are forced to use up the resources in the few areas that breed conch in such numbers, the muscular species is taking a hard hit.

"There is continuous pressure being placed on the resources in these areas," he said. "Conch is essential to the commercial and recreational sectors and to people who visit our country and have obtained fishing licenses.

Illegal foreign fishing is also having an effect and is mostly happening in the southern part of the country. The sports fishing sector tied in with the biology of the species lead to depletion."

He went on to explain that sometimes, fishermen don't give the conchs enough time to grow and end up fishing out the species while they are still young, not giving them time to reproduce and replenish the supply.

Mr Deleveaux clarified that it takes three-and-a-half to five years for a conch to reach sexual maturity. The size of the conch does not determine maturity, he said, because in some locations there are very small adult conchs, and in other areas there are very large immature conchs.

With these concerns in mind, Mr Deleveaux said the government will spare no efforts to ensure the conservation of this icon in Bahamian culture.

"The government is now looking at conch in terms of placing new laws around it," he said. "Especially in terms of closing the season for a period of time, we are looking at exploring certain other management efforts to conserve. With the initiatives we plan to put in place shortly, we are hoping they will give rise to added protection. These initiatives have not been approved so I am not at liberty to say exactly what they are. The minister mentioned the possibility of a closed season, that may be one effort we put in place."

By: IANTHIA SMITH, The Nassau Guardian

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